Simultaneous Uzbek blasts hit U.S. and Israeli embassies


TASHKENT, Reuters

Simultaneous explosions struck the U.S. and Israeli embassies in Uzbekistan as well as the state prosecutor’s office in the capital Tashkent on Friday, killing at least two people and wounding five.

The three blasts at about 5 p.m. (1200 GMT) in Uzbekistan, a U.S. ally in the war on terror, appeared to have been triggered by suicide bombers, almost certainly on foot.

The action appeared clearly coordinated, as the trial proceeded in Tashkent of 15 people on charges of trying to overthrow the ex-Soviet state in connection with attacks in March that killed nearly 50 people.

Israeli ambassador Zvi Cohen said two people had died outside the Jewish state’s embassy.

“A bomb exploded at the entrance to the embassy,” he told Israel Radio. “It is not clear yet whether it was a suicide bomber or an explosive device. Two local workers were killed.”

The U.S. embassy, reached by telephone from Moscow, said there were no known injuries in the blast outside the building’s compound.